PhD Dissertations: John Anthony Pomeroy, 1980

Bella Bella Settlement and Subsistence

This thesis presents a reconstruction of the aboriginal settlement and subsistence patterns of the Bella Bella Indians of the central coast of British Columbia. The introduction discusses intent, rationale, and structure of the thesis and includes a description of location, environment and previous field work in the area. An ethnographic model of Bella Bella culture based on ethnohistoric and ethnographic literature and on data obtained from informants is presented with reference to population estimates, settlement patterns, and subsistence in Chapter II. This presentation is summed up with a discussion of the relationship between subsistence and settlement. The archaeological survey data from five seasons of field research is presented next. Seven types of sites are described: 210 middens, 140 fish traps, 88 rock art, 18 graves, 50 historic, 67 lithic (beach, and 19 other or miscellaneous sites. Archaeological site clusters are compared with the ethnographic settlement model. Data obtained from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada salmon escapement records gathered over the past 32 years for 47 streams in the study area are correlated with midden, fish trap and ethnographic data to see if observable relationships between salmon availability and settlement patterns can be detected. The question of time-depth of settlement and subsistence patterns in this region is approached through presentation of the analysis of excavated data from E1Tb 10, the McNaughton site (Appendix II) and through comparisons with information from other excavations in the region. Conclusions on the relationship of salmon streams to site locations, of ethnography to archaeological site distribution, and of time-depth of subsistence and settlement patterns complete the thesis.

Two appendices contain detailed site distribution maps for the Bella Bella region and the McNaughton site report.